Jump to main content


Magners Preview: Scarlets v Munster

Magners Preview: Scarlets v Munster

After recent defeats to Ulster and New Zealand, Munster will aim to get back to winning ways tonight as they travel to Parc y Scarlets to play in the first Magners League match at the Scarlets’ new stadium. Munster currently hold a three-point lead at the top of the table.

MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, November 28

SCARLETS v MUNSTER, Parc y Scarlets, 7.05pm (live Setanta Sports Ireland/BBC Wales)

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Team News: In the absence of squad captain Paul O’Connell, Munster will be skippered by Ronan O’Gara when they resume their Magners League campaign against the Scarlets in Llanelli on Friday evening.

O’Gara is one of seven players involved with Ireland last weekend who have been included for Munster’s first trip to the Scarlets’ new home ground, Parc y Scarlets, in the Pemberton area of Llanelli.

Also included in the squad is Denis Leamy who has just agreed a new contract which will keep him with Munster until after the next World Cup.

The back rower played his first competitive game of the season for Munster against the All Blacks last Tuesday but suffered injury at the end of the opening quarter and had to be replaceed.

Joining Leamy in the province’s pack are his international colleagues from last weekend, Marcus Horan, Tony Buckley, Donnacha Ryan and Donncha O’Callaghan.

Meanwhile, youngsters Jon Davies and Rhys Priestland have both been included in the Scarlets’ starting line-up for the Welsh region’s first match at their new home ground.

The pair have already made their mark at the £23m stadium, which has replaced the 129-year-old Stradey Park. The first Parc y Scarlets game, on November 15, saw them star in the Principality Premiership as Llanelli RFC beat Cardiff RFC 32-3.

Against Munster, Priestland starts at 10, Davies at 11. Other young talent on board includes hooker Ken Owens, aged 21, and second row Dominic Day, 23. The bench also features promising back rowers Rob McCusker (23) and Johnathan Edwards (24).

Winger Darren Daniel will undergo a late fitness test ahead of the game, with Matthew Jacob on standby.

SCARLETS: Morgan Stoddart; Darren Daniel or Matthew Jacob, Regan King, Gavin Evans, Jon Davies; Rhys Priestland, Sililo Martens; Iestyn Thomas, Ken Owens, Kees Meeuws, Vernon Cooper, Dominic Day, Nathan Thomas, Simon Easterby (capt), David Lyons.

Replacements: Deacon Manu, Mahonri Schwalger, Phil John, Rob McCusker, Johnathan Edwards, Gavin Cattle, Ceiron Thomas.

MUNSTER: Paul Warwick; Doug Howlett, Keith Earls, Lifeimi Mafi, Ian Dowling; Ronan O’Gara (capt), Tomas O’Leary; Marcus Horan, Frankie Sheahan, Tony Buckley, Donncha O’Callaghan, Mick O’Driscoll, Donnacha Ryan, Niall Ronan, Denis Leamy.

Replacements: Denis Fogarty, Federico Pucciariello, James Coughlan, John O’Sullivan, Peter Stringer, Barry Murphy, Anthony Horgan.

Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: James Jones, Steve Edwards (both Wales)
Television Match Official: Tony Rowlands (Wales)

Match Odds (Paddy Power): Scarlets to win: 13/8; Draw: 25/1; Munster to win: 1/2

Say What: Nigel Davies (Scarlets) – “The break was good for us, we’ve had a chance to reflect everything to date and consolidated more. There’s been plenty to discuss and reflect on from the season so far – it’s been a positive few weeks here.

“And the move has had an immediate impact on the players – they’ve been really positive about what we have here and are motivated – there’s a lot of energy around the place.

“The Munster game is a big occasion as much as anything else. Arguably the final game at Stradey was the biggest game of our season, now you could argue that we’ve got an even bigger one.

“It’s very important that we make visitors realise that this is our home so we must start strongly here and start making the place our.

“Munster are bringing a pretty much full-strength squad and that’s great because they have an unprecedented pedigree in the professional game and it’ll be a real test for us. They bring an intensity that’s second to none and that has really helped to focus our minds.

“Injuries mean that, although we’re strong up front for the Munster game, we’re a little low on numbers behind the scrum, with a couple of long-term absentees, a few short-term injuries and a couple of guys away with Wales.

“We’re very focused indeed on giving our supporters something to cheer against Munster. We want them to come here and to enjoy the whole experience and, importantly, we want them to enjoy what happens on the park.”

Denis Leamy (Munster) – “It was just a bit of a knock I had against New Zealand and they (management) took me off as a precaution more than anything else. Thankfully I’ve fully recovered and I’m just looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.

“It’s been a good week for me with the contract terms agreed and I’m delighted with the way the IRFU dealt with that.

“Now the opportunity is there to get myself back into the side with important games coming up, starting with this one on Friday.”

Top Scorers: 2008/09 Magners League – Points: Scarlets: Stephen Jones 46; Munster: Ronan O’Gara 36; Tries: Scarlets: Mark Jones, Morgan Stoddart 3 each; Munster: Keith Earls, Doug Howlett 4 each.


Friday, September 23, 2005 – Munster 14 Scarlets 13, Musgrave Park
Tuesday, May 9, 2006 – Scarlets 18 Munster 6, Stradey Park
Sunday, November 5, 2006 – Scarlets 25 Munster 12, Stradey Park
Saturday, April 14, 2007 – Munster 20 Scarlets 0, Musgrave Park
Saturday, September 22, 2007 – Munster 26 Scarlets 16, Musgrave Park
Saturday, May 3, 2008 – Scarlets 23 Munster 24, Stradey Park


– The Scarlets play their first game at the brand new Parc y Scarlets, which duly becomes the 31st different venue to stage a Celtic/Magners League game

– The Scarlets have won just one of their last four games in all competitions, but have won the two games they have played against Irish opponents this season

– Table-topping Munster were handed their first Magners League defeat of the season last time out at Ravenhill, but the Irish province’s only loss to a Welsh team in their last eight meetings in all competitions was a 25-22 reversal at Cardiff Blues on March 1

– The Scarlets have not defeated Munster in the Magners League since a 25-12 victory at Stradey Park on November 5, 2006